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Understanding your gas bill by NewJersey

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									                    UNDERSTANDING YOUR
                      NATURAL GAS BILL
                                DEPARTMENT OF THE PUBLIC ADVOCATE
                                       Division of Rate Counsel

                                                                        YOUR NATURAL GAS BILL
                                                  The cost of natural gas is an important issue for all of us, especially during the
                                                  winter months. However, when most people read their natural gas bill they don’t
                                                  understand where the charges come from and what the various terms mean. If
                                                  you fit this description, don’t worry. We have used an actual natural gas bill and
                                                  explained the maze of numbers and terms found on your billing statement. We
                                                  hope this information on your natural gas usage and specific charges will help
                                                  you choose sensible, efficient energy solutions for your home. If you have addi-
                                                  tional questions about your natural gas bill, please contact our office.

    Jon S Corzine           Ronald K. Chen        Here are the charges and information contained in your natural gas bill:
      Governor              Public Advocate
                                                                                             (A) Billing or Service Telephone Num-
                                                                                             bers: These numbers connect cus-
                                                                  A                          tomers to the company’s 24-hour cus-
                                E                                                            tomer service lines. Use these num-
                                                                                             bers to request account information,
                                                                                             report a problem with service, or ex-
                                                                                             press any of your concerns.

F                                                               B                            (B) Total Amount Due: This is the total
                                         D                                                   amount the customer owes for the bill-
                    G                                                                C       ing period. It includes the current
                                                                                             monthly charge plus any unpaid bal-
H                                                                                            ance from earlier bills.
                        I
                                                                                             (C) Due Date: This is the date by which
                                                                                             payment must be made.

      J             K               L         M                   N            O
                                                                                             (D) Customer Name and Service Ad-
                                                                                             dress: Here is the responsible
                            P                                                                name(s) on the account. The mailing
                                                                                             address may be different than the ac-
                                                                                             tual service address.

                                                                                             (E) Address: This is the address of
                        Q                                                                    the gas company to which written cor-
                                                                                             respondence can be sent.
                                                                        T
      R                                   S                                                  (F) Account Number: This is your cus-
                                                                                             tomer account identification. For faster
                                                                                             service, refer to this number when
                                                                                             communicating with your utility. If you
                                                                                             receive service at more than one loca-
                                                                                             tion, you will have a different account
                                                                                             number for each location.




                                                                                          Continued Page 2
                                                                                                        Continued on Back
(G) Bill Type: This indicates the type of billing cycle by which the gas company charges you. In this case (as in most), the
customer is billed monthly

(H) Current Meter Reading: This section indicates if your current meter reading was based on an actual reading where
the company physically reads your meter, or (estimated) where the company charges you based on the weather and past
usage. An estimated reading is done when the weather is too bad to permit a meter reading or when no one is home to
allow meter access.

(I) Next Scheduled Reading: This is the approximate date that the gas company will perform its next meter reading.

(J) Service Period: This is the period for which you are being billed. In this example, the customer is being billed for the
period February 17 - March 15th.

(K) Meter Number: This is the serial number of the meter that is recording your gas usage.

(L) Meter Reading Information: This section details your current meter reading versus your previous meter reading from
the last billing cycle. Your previous reading is subtracted from your current reading to determine usage for the current
service period.

(M) Cubic Feet Used: This number indicates the volume of gas used. It is calculated using the difference between your
present and previous meter reading.

(N) Billing Units Used: This is the actual number of therms used during the billing period. This number is calculated by
multiplying the number of cubic feet used by the British Thermal Unit (BTU) content. A British Thermal Unit is the amount of
heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

(O) Service Period Gas Charges: This is the total monthly charge for the current billing cycle.

(P) Account Summary: This section contains your previous balance, any payments received during the billing period, your
current gas charges and, if applicable, your home services monthly payment.

(Q) Special Messages: Look her for messages from your utility for money-saving ideas or special customer events.

(R) Bill Calculation: This section shows the prices and method used to calculate your bill. It also distinguishes between
the cost of the fuel itself (Basic Gas Supply or BGS) and the cost of delivering it (represented by DEL). These prices are
calculated based on the number of therms consumed. During certain times of the year, this section will also include a
“balancing charge” that covers the cost of balancing customer consumption with actual gas deliveries, which ensures an
adequate gas supply.

(S) Use Comparisons: This section compares the amount of gas you used this month to the amount used in the same
month, one year ago. In this example, the bill compares March 2003 to March 2004.

 (T) Budget Option: This is an optional program offered by this utility. It allows you to balance your monthly gas bills by
paying 12 equal payments over the course of the year. This budget option will vary in price among consumers. Other
utilities will have different names for this same service.

                                          THE FLIP SIDE OF YOUR GAS BILL

                   Often, questions about your natural gas bill may be answered by the information
                      on the bill’s flip side. Most gas bills disclose contact information, hours of
                   service, office locations, and even names of state agencies that can potentially
                                                        help you.

 Additionally, some gas bills will supply a list of terms and definitions concerning utility industry terminology that
 may not be common knowledge. These terms are not necessarily the same for all gas companies, so please
              take the time to briefly familiarize yourself with the terms that apply to your gas provider.



                                   New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel
                                Kimberly K. Holmes, Esq., Acting Director
                      31 Clinton Street, 11th Floor, P.O. Box 46005, Newark, NJ 07101
                                   Tel. (973) 648-2690 Fax (973) 624-1047
                      http://www.rpa.state.nj.us E-mail: njratepayer@rpa.state.nj.us


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